THE sun has finally made an appearance – and coveted Blue Flags will be proudly flying at two of the area’s beaches this summer.
Hayling Island and West Wittering are among 56 beaches in England that are considered some of the best and cleanest in the world.
The internationally-recognised flags are given out every year by Keep Britain Tidy and this year’s award is the 23rd in a row for Hayling.
The beaches are judged by the highest level of EU bathing water standards, as well as facilities and general cleanliness.
Southsea continues to miss out on the coveted flag, although part of the beach was rated highly in this year’s Good Beach Guide, a separate awards system.
Leah Turner, a councillor for Hayling, was delighted with the award.
‘It’s absolutely brilliant,’ she said.
‘It’s down to Beachlands staff and council staff who work so hard to keep it. It’s wonderful for Hayling. People look at where the Blue Flags are and visit us because we have one.’
Bognor Regis East won a Seaside Award, which is judged by a slightly lower standard of criteria. The award means it is considered one of Britain’s best beaches.
Richard McIlwain, programmes director for the charity Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘We have some fantastic coastline and we know that communities up and down the country love their beaches. They provide opportunities for people to get outside, relax and have fun for free.’